The seeds of modern secularism

James W. Dow (Oakland): Machiavellian Genes, Social Selection, and the Evolution of Religious Behavior. Peter Manseau reviews Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age by Robert N. Bellah (and more and more). An interview with J. Anderson Thomson, author of Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith. A review of The God Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny and the Meaning of Life by Jesse Bering. How did the tribal god(s) of a few desert nomads manage to get the upper hand over all the other gods out there who, and let's be honest, have WAAAYYY better stories? Stephen Greenblatt finds the seeds of modern secularism in a book discovered in a medieval monastery (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Theology is dead: Mark Goldblatt on the paradox of rational theology. For what is a Mommy, after all, if not the person who intercedes for us with Daddy, and what is religion, if not our psychic needs writ large? In theory, religion could go on and on: It is not just the prayerful who can be religious; by scholarly definitions, they can include fans of football teams and celebrities. Robert Hoffmann (NUBS): The Experimental Economics of Religion. Well that settles it: Income inequality really does go hand in hand with religion. Why atheism will replace religion: With economic security, people abandon religion. Religion makes people happy, so why is church attendance declining? It might just be insurance for the unhappy. Hundreds of millions of people in Europe alone are “non-religious”, but non-religion remains an understudied field; Lois Lee discusses its significance and its role in defining the identities of the “silent majority” in Europe. Goodbye Religion: How godlessness is increasing with each new generation.